Business as usual for southside cops

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POLICING in Scotland will face a major transformation from Monday.

In a bid to cut costs, the country’s eight regional forces will join together on April 1 to create a single police force.

However,  East Renfrewshire’s community police inspector Alan Dickson believes ordinary members of the public will notice little change.

He told The Extra: “We have the same people, in the same streets, in the same vehicles, doing the same jobs and in the same way.

“There are no staffing reductions. What we have now will have not change from Monday.

“Vehicles will be de-branded, as will body armour and uniform, but the public will not see any significant change in the service.

“It is quite simply an organisational change. The police have no new powers,and will operate under the same legal frame work.

“It’s business as usual as far as we are concerned.”

Stephen House, who has been appointed head of the new Police Scotland service agrees there will be no change to day to day frontline services.

The chief constable said: “An ordinary member of the public going about their business on day one, day two: we expect, or hope, they will see nothing much has changed.

“There will be an absence of individual police force logos but apart from that they will see police officers patrolling in the community, they will see police officers responding when they call for help and we want that to be as seamless as it possibly can.”

Inspector Dickson believes having chief constable House at the helm will make for a seamless transition.

He said: “We are used to how Mr House works as he has been the man in charge of Strathclyde police for five years.

“Effectively, the Strathclyde model is being rolled out across Scotland with some local tweaks.

“As far as staffing is concerned numbers will remain the same.

“We know the economic climate is impacting on everybody and the reality is the police service does not act in a vacuum and this is how we have responded.”

From Monday, the new force will include 17,400 police officers and 6,000 civilian staff. However, it is suspected that hundreds of non-uniform employees could be set to go as part of the change.